For high school graduates worldwide who don’t want to sit this year out, for impatient optimists who are ready to get in the arena, this is your opportunity to level up with a diverse, international cohort of young leaders like you.

Apply to join a cohort of determined and hopeful young leaders from around the world and grow together into changemakers who will address our shared global challenges. We cast a wide net for talent and are proud to offer an admissions process that doesn’t rely on test scores, grades or a family’s financial circumstances.

How to Apply

2021 Fellowship Application Closed

It is with heavy hearts but clear minds that we announce that we are not re-launching our Fellowship in August 2021. We remain committed to re-launching the Fellowship as soon as it is safe. We have an active internal committee that will reassess the situation in March 2021 to determine whether it may be feasible to re-launch the Fellowship in January 2022. If you’d like to be notified when we open applications for next year’s program, you can request information here.

1. Online Application

Apply online in just 1-2 hours. No test scores required! Our selective admissions process is designed to get to know you as a whole person, not a number.

2. Interview

The strongest applicants are invited to interview with a staff member or alum. This is your opportunity to share your story and ask questions about the program.

3. Admissions Decision

Within just 2-3 weeks of your interview, you'll receive the admissions decision.

4. Final Review

(1) Select your country: We'll provide a detailed country guide to help you confidently choose your destination.

(2) Apply for financial aid: We offer both merit and need-based aid. For need-based aid, you'll submit your FAFSA or CSS Profile and fill out a short form about your family’s financial situation.

(3) Complete a medical form: Schedule a visit with your doctor to complete a medical form confirming that your health and well-being can be maintained during 8 months abroad.

Become a Fellow

You're in! After we confirm your country, financial aid award, and medical review status, you'll have 2 weeks to send in a $500 deposit and reserve your spot as an official Global Citizen Year Fellow. Let the adventure begin!


Selection Criteria

Our admissions process is designed to select and bring together the most promising young leaders of the new generation - individuals who will inspire change during their gap year and beyond. Coming from diverse backgrounds across the US and the world, what these young leaders have in common is curiosity, grit, and a drive to make an impact. For all the aspiring changemakers and students hungry to take education into their own hands, this year is for you.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

The Eligibility Criteria outline the requirements for Fellows to be reliable, fully committed, and capable of of working hard to achieve the program goals.

By design, Global Citizen Year is a challenging program. Fellows step out of their comfort zones and push past former limits. The health and the well being of our Fellows and staff are of the highest priority at Global Citizen Year.

It is important to recognize that there is, and always will be, a certain degree of risk in the very nature of a Global Citizen Year. Because Fellows live, work, and travel in environments that can be remote, dynamic, and physically or emotionally challenging, we expect Fellows to work with us to maintain good health and well-being. For more details, please see the General Terms & Conditions, the Policy Handbook, or contact us at

How is Global Citizen Year monitoring and responding to COVID-19?

Our top priority is to support the well-being of our Fellows and our Fellows and our global community. We recently posted an update with information on how we’re responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Please view our update here.

How much does this cost?

Our full tuition is $32,500, and we offer both merit and need-based scholarships. We are committed to making our program accessible, and historically, about 30% of our class have received a FULL gap year scholarship, and an additional 50% have received partial gap year scholarships. Visit our Tuition & Financial Aid page for more information about merit scholarship opportunities and what is included in tuition.

What about college?

Most colleges are supportive of gap years - not surprising when studies show that gap students get higher GPAs and are more active on campus. Whether you choose to defer your acceptance or to re-apply, our Director of College Admissions Guidance will support you through the process. We're also proud to offer several college partnerships.

How to Apply

1. Online Application

Apply online in just one hour. We're looking to build a well-rounded global cohort that brings a diversity of experiences and perspectives. Strong candidates will demonstrate a commitment to self-reflection, learning, and collaboration.

As part of your application, you'll select your tuition tier based on our sliding scale tuition model. We ask that you pay at the highest tier you can afford. This allows other students who need to pay less the opportunity to attend.

2. Receive Admissions Decision

Within just two weeks after applying, you'll receive your admissions decision.

3. Reserve Your Spot

If accepted, you'll have until January 29th, 2021 to complete your paperwork and send in your $250 deposit, reserving your spot in the Academy.

4. Course Selection

Review all the available course times, and select the schedule that works best for you. Course times are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. The final deadline for course selection is January 31st, 2021.

5. Final Clearance

As a final step, you’ll complete a tech check to ensure that your computer and internet connection will allow you to participate fully on the Forum learning platform.

For non-native or non-fluent English speakers, we require a quick English language assessment to ensure you'll be able to fully participate in the Academy discussions and coursework. This test only takes 15 mins and is available free online.

Final clearance must be completed by February 22, 2021. Should any issues arise during final clearance we’ll try our best to troubleshoot so you can attend. If that’s not possible, we’ll issue a refund for your deposit.

Rujen Amatya,
Brazil '18

When are the application deadlines?

The priority admissions deadline is December 15, 2020 and the final admissions deadline is January 15, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Do I need to be 100% certain I'll do Global Citizen Academy when I apply?

The application is non-binding so you should feel free to apply even if you aren't 100% certain you will do Global Citizen Academy if you're accepted. After acceptance you will have time to decide whether the program is right for you. And there will be many opportunities to connect with us and ask questions along the way.

Does the Academy have a Code of Conduct?

Yes. All Global Citizen Year Academy students must agree to our Code of Conduct. These community expectations are key to providing a respectful and welcoming space where all participants feel encouraged to share their viewpoints.

What should I say or do in my application video? I’m stumped!

This is the fun part! Our number one tip: don’t overthink it. We want to get to know you, learn about your passions, and better understand your motivations for participating in a leadership experience like Global Citizen Year Academy. The most important thing is that you answer the questions posed in the prompt, and that your motives for participating in this program are clear.

Some students get quite creative with their submissions, and many submit great videos in a simple straight to camera format. We encourage you to do whatever feels natural to you!